César in 2010
|Full name||César Sánchez Domínguez|
|Date of birth||2 September 1971|
|Place of birth||Coria, Spain|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
César Sánchez Domínguez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈθesaɾ ˈsantʃeθ] ; born 2 September 1971), sometimes known as simply César, is a Spanish retired footballer who played as a goalkeeper.
In exactly 20 La Liga seasons (the only competition he appeared in as a professional) he played 401 games, with Valladolid, Real Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia and Villarreal, being first-choice in three of those clubs and winning seven major titles with the second, including the 2002 Champions League.
César was born in Coria, Cáceres, Extremadura. He graduated from Real Valladolid's youth academy, and made his debut with the first team in a 0–6 home defeat against FC Barcelona where he came on for Mauro Ravnić early into the second half, at the end of the 1991–92 season.He only missed a combined four league games between 1995–2000.
Sánchez signed in 2000–01 for La Liga giants Real Madrid, initially backing-up wonderkid Iker Casillas. However, the following season, he eventually became first-choice and started five out of nine UEFA Champions League matches during the capital side's victorious campaign, but was substituted by Casillas in the final with Bayer 04 Leverkusen after suffering an injury.
César joined Real Zaragoza for 2005–06,and was everpresent in the Aragonese side's lineups during three seasons. In August 2008, after their relegation to Segunda División, new manager Marcelino García Toral sent the player to the reserves.
Shortly after, Sánchez was bought by Juande Ramos's Tottenham Hotspur.He made his first and only appearance for the London club in a 4–2 victory over Liverpool in the fourth round of the Football League Cup, replacing injured Heurelho Gomes.
César returned to Spain on 20 January 2009, joining Valencia CF on a free transfer until the end of the seasonas the Che had just lost first-choice Renan to a groin injury, during a 2–3 loss at Athletic Bilbao. Despite this, the former was still named on the bench for a Tottenham game on the 21st, the League Cup semi-final second leg against Burnley; two days later, Tottenham announced that his contract had been cancelled by mutual consent, and he retained his starting status even when the Brazilian recovered from his injury.
After an impressive half-season, César renewed his contract for another year.He started the 2009–10 campaign on the bench, playing second-fiddle to new signing Miguel Ángel Moyá; however, after unconvincing displays by the latter, he regained the starting spot, keeping consecutive clean sheets against Racing de Santander (1–0), defending champions Barcelona (0–0), UD Almería (3–0) and Málaga CF (1–0). In May 2010, after helping Valencia to the third place, with the team consequently returning to the Champions League, the veteran agreed to a further one-year extension.
On 2 April 2011, César became the second oldest goalkeeper in Spanish League history as he appeared – as a starter – in a 4–2 defeat of Getafe CF, aged 39 years and 212 days.He contributed with 15 appearances, as his team finished third and qualified to the Champions League.
However, after the club acquired Diego Alves and renewed youth graduate Vicente Guaita's contract, César became surplus to requirements. On 2 June 2011, he signed a one-year deal with Valencian Community neighbours Villarreal CF,making his league debut on 10 September in a 2–2 home draw against Sevilla FC: after replacing sent off Diego López early into the first half, he stopped the ensuing penalty by Álvaro Negredo, whom however managed to score with a putback. Subsequently, he became only the fifth player to appear in a Spanish top division match over the age of 40, following Harry Lowe, Jacques Songo'o, Amedeo Carboni and Donato.
César returned to the Mestalla Stadium on 20 January 2020, being appointed sporting director on a two-and-a-half-year contract.
César earned his first and only cap for Spain on 16 August 2000, in a 4–1 friendly defeat to Germany in Hannover.
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